2008-01-23 / Front Page

Impaired driver indicted for deaths

By Elizabeth Billips Associate Editor

A grand jury has indicted an impaired driver for causing a deadly accident on Highway 80 and then leaving three victims behind in the wreckage.

Elliott John Williams was indicted Thursday on two counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree and two counts of failure to stop at and return to the scene of an accident, as well as DUI (drugs) and driving on the wrong side of the roadway.

All of the charges stemmed from the fatal November 2006 accident in which Williams reportedly drove head-on into a pickup driven by 27-year-old John Owen Lavender.

According to officers, Williams walked away from the accident scene and was found by state troopers at his Anderson Road home, about five miles away.

Williams, who was described as "visibly impaired" at the time, told authorities he swerved to miss what he thought was a cow in the road, but hit "something else."

Williams told officers he called out his cousin's name and became scared and left when he didn't answer.

Both Lavender and David Anderson Parris, Williams' 21- year-old cousin and passenger, died from their injuries. A second passenger in Williams' vehicle was injured but not fatally.

Hephzibah resident Shannon Russell Jackson was indicted on numerous sex crimes, all related to a single incident in January 2006 when he allegedly held a 10-year-old against her will and repeatedly molested her.

According to his indictment, Jackson forced the child to look at pornographic material, then sodomized and raped her. He also used a razor blade to cut her ankle, the court document said.

He was indicted on charges of false imprisonment, aggravated child molestation, child molestation, rape, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated assault and sexual exploitation of a minor.

A Waynesboro man accused of throwing a pregnant woman from a moving car has been indicted for six felony offenses.

Michael Lorenzo Turner was arrested in October after his exgirlfriend checked into the emergency room with roadburns all over her body.

She told officers that Turner held a knife to her throat and forced her into a vehicle.

As Turner drove down East Sixth Street, the victim opened her door and pretended that she was going to jump from the moving vehicle, the original incident report said.

According to the indictment, Turner then pushed her into the roadway and held onto her shirt so she "dangled from and was drug by the moving vehicle."

The victim told police she was then taken to a field off Hadden Pond Road where she was held against her will, beaten and sexually assaulted.

Turner was indicted for kidnapping with bodily injury, battery (Family Violence Act), aggravated sodomy, criminal attempt to commit rape and two counts of aggravated assault.

The grand jury also returned indictments on a former animal control officer accused of accessing child pornography through the internet.

Michael Boswell was arrested last August on a single charge of computer pornography and child exploitation, following an investigation through the GBI's cybercrime unit out of Atlanta.

However, after the grand jury heard evidence against Boswell last week, the count climbed to nine felonies - five counts of computer pornography and child exploitation and another four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to his indictment, the first five charges stemmed from internet contact with persons he believed to be children under the age of 16. All five of those contacts took place within a seven-day period, the indictment said, and were "intended to arouse and satisfy the sexual desires of the accused."

The four latter charges were related to pornographic videos in his possession that depicted children in sexual acts.

The grand jury also returned three "no-bills," which normally indicate a lack of evidence, clearing three defendants of nine criminal charges.

Amanda Louise Gates was cleared of aggravated assault and a weapons charge, dating back to October;

Brooks Jermaine Givens was cleared of battery and terroristic threat charges from September; and Corey Marion Mack was cleared of two aggravated assault charges, two weapons charges and a charge of discharging a firearm near a public road, all dating back to November.

Nineteen others were indicted on felony charges. They include:

• Cornelius Damiano Bellamy: possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and obstruction of a law enforcement officer;

• Darius Kwmane Bellamy: inciting a riot, refusal to obey official request at fire or other emergency and obstruction of a law enforcement officer;

• Gregory Lamont Bellamy: inciting a riot, refusal to obey official request at fire or other emergency and obstruction of a law enforcement officer;

• Tonjulia Teresa Roberson: inciting a riot, refusal to obey official request at fire or other emergency and obstruction of a law enforcement officer;

• Johnathan Zandell Chance: aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, theft by receiving stolen property, discharging a firearm near a public road and two counts of criminal damage to property in the second degree;

• Johnathan Terrell Hughes: criminal damage to property in the second degree (two counts), aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and discharging a firearm on a public road;

• James Cobb Jr.: entering an automobile with the intent to commit a theft (two counts);

• Angelo Coker: manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon;

• Arthur Dixon: aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon;

• Keithrick Marcail Habersham: theft by taking;

• Reginald Willie Johnson: theft by deception, driving with a suspended license and duty upon striking an unattended vehicle;

• Jamie Carderal Lewis: possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, improper passing and driving without a license;

• Johnny Morgan Lowe: aggravated assault;

• Melissa Lindsay Messer: theft by receiving stolen property;

• Melvin Deon Page: theft by receiving stolen property, failure to maintain lane and driving a motorcycle without a proper license;

• Tracey Lynn Powell: possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and manufacturing marijuana;

• Troy Leslie Walker: manufacturing marijuana, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana;

• Keith Fitzgerald Robinson: terroristic threats (two counts) and criminal attempt to commit arson;

• Lorenzo Freddie Thomas: possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute; and

• Randy Melvin Wright: possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession of marijuana.

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